I know it’s a cartoon, but it has vampires, Frankenstein, and the
invisible man, how could we possibly resist? Count Dracula builds a
hotel – a retreat if you will where monsters can be safe from the threat
that human pose to their existence. He builds this hotel to honour a
promise to his dead wife to keep their daughter Mavis safe. For 118
years he watches over Mavis and runs his hotel until she decides that
she wants to see the real world. Count Dracula is not at all pleased
and even builds a fake town and fills it with zombies to convince Mavis
that the real world is a dangerous place and that humans will suck her
Both Mavis and the Count return to Hotel Transylvania, where the count
his happy until her realises that a human has found his way to the
hotel. Johnathon is the very first human to enter the premises and his
very existence put the reputation of the hotel in danger. The Count
dresses him up and asserts that he is Frankenstein’s cousin. That’s
right, Johnathon is introduced as being related to Frankenstein’s left
hand. Even with the disguise, Johnathon’s ideas make him a threat to
the count and this only increases when it becomes clear that Mavis has
feelings for him. Somehow, the count must rid his hotel and keep his
daughter safe from the human.
Essentially, Hotel Transylvania is the story of an over
protective father, willing to do anything to keep his daughter safe – by
safe, I of course mean under his control. What is good about this is
that Mavis does not stop asserting her desire to see the world. Mavis
knows what she wants out of life and is determined to get it. For all
of her inexperience, she knows that there has to be more to life than
the stories her father has told her and when Johnathon tells her about
the places he has been, she becomes determined to leave the hotel.
Johnathon is the sole representation of humanity in this movie and of
course he is White, male, straight, cisgender and able bodied. Nothing
represents humanity like a White guy. Now, where have I seen humanity
represented as completely White before? Ah yes, The Bee movie.
Complete erasure in the media, let alone cartoons, is an everyday
occurrence but when it comes to cartoons, because they are targeted at
children, we are not supposed to ruin their innocence and actively
critique them. Heaven forbid that little White kids grow up to learn
about their privilege and kids of colour learn that their erasure is
wrong. Nope, that would be a critical discussion and everyone knows
that active and engaged thought is not a habit we want kids to pick up.
After all, their innocence is at stake.